Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman (CAO) - International Finance Corporation (IFC)

The CAO is the independent recourse mechanism for IFC-funded projects. The CAO accepts complaints which are related to an IFC project, which raise social and environmental concerns, and which were filed by person(s) or communities (or their representatives) directly affected by the project. There is a 120 day investigatory period, and then the Ombudsman and other facilitators attempt to help the stakeholders reach a collaborative solution. If a resolution is not reached, then the issue will be referred to the Compliance Advisor which will determine if an independent audit is necessary. If so, a group of impartial experts will evaluate whether the actions of the IFC and its project sponsors were in compliance with the applicable rules and guidelines; if violations occurred, then the CAO will monitor to ensure that those actions come into compliance. Complainants have the option of requesting that the CAO move directly to a compliance audit after the investigatory period, and bypass mediation.